Biennial budget information

A page within Budget


The state’s biennial (two-year) budget process can be seen as a continuous cycle, moving from preparation of agency budget requests to submission of the Governor’s budget to legislative authorization of appropriations, to agency expenditure of those appropriations, to review of agency expenditures and then, beginning again, with subsequent agency budget requests.

The biennial budget itself is a two-year budget. It begins July 1 of each odd numbered year and concludes on June 30 of the next odd numbered year. Each agency, including the UW System, develops a biennial budget request in the Spring and Summer of the even numbered year which precedes the start of the next biennial budget period.

The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System reviews budget initiatives as it prepares its biennial budget request. During the Fall of each even numbered year, the Board submits this budget request to the State of Wisconsin Department of Administration. This department analyzes agency budget requests, makes modifications and then recommendations to the Governor for possible inclusion in the Governor’s budget request. When this review is completed, sometime in January or February, the Governor presents his/her budget to the Legislature. From February through June, the Legislative Joint Committee on Finance and both houses of the State Legislature act on the biennial budget. At this point, the biennial budget is treated much the same as any other piece of legislation. Typically, by July 1 of the odd numbered year, the budget is enacted.


Italics refers to even numbered years.
Boldface refers to odd numbered years.

Spring Department of Administration provides biennial budget instructions to state agencies
August UW System Board of Regents takes final action on biennial budget request document
September UW System Board of Regents biennial budget request document is submitted to Department of Administration
September to February Development of Governor’s budget
February Governor presents his budget to the Legislature
February to June Joint Finance Committee (JFC) and Legislature work on budget
July 1 Biennial Budget is enacted (typically). Possible Governor’s vetoes.